As you’ve surely heard by now, the plaintiffs’ bar has come up with a can’t-miss-science-based trial strategy. Its creators boast that it has produced over $6.25 billion in jury verdicts and settlements in personal injury suits since 2009, including nearly $19.2 million in the past week alone. And they’ve given their strategy a name; it’s called: The “Reptile Theory.” While there are many who dispute its claimed scientific basis (here, here, here), defendants who’ve squared-off with the Reptile don’t doubt its effectiveness. Continue reading
At this very moment a good friend of mine is in a dust-up with a rental car company. After hearing (my friend’s version of) “the facts,” and harkening back fondly to my law school days, I thought his tale just might make an interesting hypothetical to launch a discussion on “customer experience,” and I’m hoping the reader(s) of this blog will chime in. Continue reading
Can a company use warranty to help drive sales? It sure can. Just ask Hyundai Motors. It saw its market share jump from 1.1% to 4% after it extended its powertrain warranty in 1999. You might also want to put the question to Volkswagen, which saw its sales drop 30% in the three years after it shortened its powertrain warranty in 2002. Continue reading
The International Conference on Warranty Chain Managment kicks off Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at the Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel in Miami, Florida. I’ll be there to deliver a workshop entitled: “What Customer Service Personnel Should Know About Warranty Law and Service Contract Regulation.” For a preview, check out the most recent Warranty Week.
To register for the conference, click here.
Yesterday, a federal jury in Cleveland ruled for Whirlpool Corp. in a warranty-based class action involving allegedly defective front-loading washing machines. As discussed in an earlier post, the case had been up and down to the Supreme Court, and given the Court’s recent class action rulings, that was it was allowed to proceed to trial was rather unexpected. Continue reading
Recent federal court decisions relaxing the standards for class action certification must have plaintiff class action lawyers around the country celebrating. It now seems that a mere handful of customer complaints can support a class action lawsuit on any consumer product. What should manufacturers do to address this development and resulting increase in liability exposure? Should they spend more money up front to resolve warranty claims, before they end up in suit? Or, should they fight it out in court and hope to curtail the recent trend? Either way, we suspect manufacturers’ costs are going up. Continue reading